Support to the Haïtien Bureau of Standards (BHN)
Posted on: April 29, 2016
In November 2015, the TBT Programme launched a project to support the Haitian Bureau of Standards (BHN). The purpose of this EDF-funded intervention are (a) to strengthen the BHN Quality Management institutional capacity; and (b) to promote the adoption of best international practices in the production and provision of goods and services.
The project should deliver its results by resulting in the the creation of an institutional framework for quality infrastructure in accordance with the WTO TBT Agreement and enhanced capacity of auditors and consultants to support Haitian firms and laboratories.
Project activities commenced, also in November 2015, with the arrival of the project Team Leader, George Dupret, in Port au Prince. During this initial phase Mr. Dupret met all major beneficiaries (BHN, Ministry of Trade and Industry MCI and Metrology Institute). There were also exchanges with other Haitian stakeholders interested in quality management, most notably, the Haitian Association for Quality Management (AHMAQ); the Directorate for Quality and Consumer Protection; the National Association of Fruits transformers (ANATRAF); and the Veterinary Laboratory and Control of Food Quality Tamarind (LVCQAT).
One of the first substantive elements of the project was the conduct of a training programme on both food safety systems (e.g. HACCP and ISO 22000 system) and on the WTO TBT Agreement. Other training sessions aimed at strengthening the management capacity of the National Information Point (NIP) on TBT-related issues. An additional element of the project saw the convening of technical sessions on compliance and enforcement of the requirements of ISO / IEC 17025 for laboratory staff. Participants in this series of training sessions stem from the following institutions - the National Laboratory of Public Works (LNBTP); National Metrology / Haitian Bureau of Standards (NML / BHN); Operating Technical Centre (ETC / PFMT); Laboratory Water Analysis; and Quality Control of Veterinary Laboratory of Food of Tamarind (LVCQAT).
An additional component of the TBT Programme-funded project was a seminar directed at Haitian companies on the impact of quality management issues on their businesses. The seminar content material and ensuing discussions were focussed on regulatory requirements aimed at improving the quality performance of Haitian companies to navigate major export markets.
As part of the activity of strengthening the NIP, the website of BHN was created and includes a number of features including a link to an information database: http://188.8.131.52:8494/Bhn_Catalogue/
The next phase of the project, scheduled to start in May 2016, will provide direct support to companies to attain HACCP certification. 12 agribusiness firms have already been pre-selected and will receive support in developing a diagnostic study on quality coupled with a medium- and long-term action plan to gain the HACCP certification.